The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

General Chat  || Kitten  || WaV  || Pens  || Mi2  || GMP  || TiE  || FAQ  || Feed - The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe

All times are UTC - 8 hours



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 279 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((46/?-April 27, 2019))
PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:59 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 176
Dibs! :whip
The last scene had me in tears again, luckily I was alone at home this time. Many writers (and readers) don't like Dawn, but you really manage to let us feel with her, making us realize that she essentially lost both her surrogate mothers that horrible day. And Willow who until now thought leaving Tara alone after her death was her greatest sin has to face that forsaking Dawn was even worse.
I love that Willow isn't crippled by this newfound guilt but that she has the strength to apologize to Dawn. And I'm so glad that Dawn lets herself believe that her surrogate mom Willow has returned, relishing the memories she probably surpressed during Willow's absence:

Quote:
She knew this Willow. The one who'd brought gifts while Mom was in the hospital and helped tutor her in math so she wouldn't fall behind when she was sick. Who held her hand and rubbed her back whenever she cried that dark, backwards summer. Who tinkered for long hours in the basement working on the Buffybot after helping tutor Dawn during summer school. The Willow who coordinated schedules and tried to help the endless bills with small computer gigs after Buffy died (and long after she came back). The one who Dawn heard crying sometimes at night after soothing one of Tara's nightmares. She fell into Willow, throwing her arms around a small part of her family who'd finally come back.


Such a beautiful summarization of the "good" aspects of Willow's personality, loving, supporting and protecting the members of her chosen family.

As to Tara I'm glad that she tries to find her way back to the "real world", dares to hope again and that she and Spike are there for each other. I agree with Tara that Spike telling the others about her at this point would probably do more harm than good. They probably wouldn't believe him anyway and the anger the "lie" would cause could lead to serious harm for the messenger.
Now I really hope Isis has an open ear for Tara.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((44/?-April 15, 2019))
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:45 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 90
Topics: 4
Location: Portland, Or
edited b/c apparently I don't know how to work the quote thing :)) I think you'll get it though

Zooeys_Bridge wrote:
@shirrey: Hey now! Nuh uh, no apologies necessary. This fic is so old, I had to go back multiple times to remember myself (and also retcon some small things here and there). If I had to dust it off the shelf, I can only imagine how it's been for you, my poor dear reader(s).

ok lol fair enough

*bites lip* SOON. ANSWERS ARE SOON, I SWEAR.

ooooh I am on to something! am I on to something??? no, don't tell me

I could read your comments all day (and in fact, re-read them many many times with a stupid smile on my face). Not only for the joy they bring but also the incredibly rich insight they bring, connections they make and cast new light.

I am so glad :)

Quote:
Stone is permanent- the gravestone and Willow's rocks- but life isn't, the spirit changes and forms
Gosh, why aren't you writing? That's good stuff right there.

Thank you. :blush I don't know if I have the drive or patience to write- but maybe, someday....

Calling on Isis seems like such a Tara move, go for the benevolent goddess rather than the hungry god. I understand so much her not wanting to risk hope but am so glad that she seems willing to ask for help if she cannot do it alone. She is considerate, but not a martyr and that's a good thing.

Poor Dawnie- being ignored, or at least not being heard (same thing really) is one of the most hurtful things there is, especially when it's in your own tribe, if they don't take the time for you, how can you except others to? And I like that Willow is guilty of that here too, because its uncomfortable, its not a nice thing, and its human. It is good, for Willow, that she already wrestles with the guilt of abandoning Tara's body or Dawn's words would have crippled her. How could she not have though, considered that in the after days she wasn't supposed to be living. But as you have Willow saying: she had already checked out, she was, in her mind, already gone because she felt she could not live through accepting Tara's death and being with her body would have forced that realization. I doubt she even thought that way at the time though, more just: I have already died, but not before I have my revenge. I wonder if she feels survivor's guilt? Tara died and she didn't. Man, that's sad.
And Dawn remembering Willow's actions, her day to day care, just who she was and is in heart and soul, that is more precious that the ignoring is hurtful in the end. And THANK YOU for mentioning that Willow took side jobs to help pay for things. Willow and Tara get a bad rep sometimes for 'freeloading' off Buffy, while Buffy is drowning in debt. (some of this supported by sloppy writing in those episodes) I have lots of theories of how they were absolutely not doing that, how they both gave everything they had to keep life going for themselves and Dawn, so thank you for adding that little bit.

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((46/?-April 27, 2019))
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 4:02 pm 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:36 am
Posts: 1169
Topics: 4
Location: somewhere inbetween here and there
@Will's_redemption:
In this house, we love and respect Dawn Summers. And Willow done did a lot of fucking up, so yeah, time to air some grievances. The anger's been building up in Dawn about Willow for a long time, now. We saw it in 'Same Time Same Place' at the airport while they're waiting for Willow to arrive, and we see it in 'Help', too. It kind of disappears after that (along with a lot of other S7 plotlines and character arcs but what else is new). I wanted to put more tension on that string until it snapped. There's a way forward, but not until they address the grievances of the past. Especially because Willow probably didn’t know Dawn was the one to find Tara’s body and sit with her all day. I mean…oof. Aside from Same Time Same Place, this confrontation with Dawn is one of the first real times she faces consequences for the actions of the finale, in a concrete, social way.

Repeating Willow’s good qualities are really important, both for me as a writer (bc I love to rake the poor girl over the coals) but also for the characters - Willow, lost in guilt, easily forgets or dismisses those parts of herself, lost in guilt, and other characters can follow suit. But there’s a reason she was a hero in the first place and had so far to fall. It’s all still in her. She’s still Willow.


@shirrey:
y’know, even if there were other options for Tara to have at her fingertips to even consider (there aren’t, because of all the blank books) she likely would have still gone for Isis anyway for the exact reasons you said.

I hate to throw more pain on the pile (who am I kidding, I love it), but a small Drabble came out of this chapter as I was writing it a few years back (or maybe this chapter came out of the Drabble. I forget) and it feels appropriate to share at this moment, because I think it’s really important. Between Willow’s actions at the end of S6 (“I’m not coming back.” “Willow isn’t here anymore.”) and the start of S7 in England with Giles (“I thought it was to kill me.”), it’s pretty clear Willow literally had a death wish. Either what she was going to do was going to kill her, or she was praying for someone to do it for her. So yeah, absolutely, she’s suffering from survivor’s guilt on top of survivor’s guilt -Why couldn’t she have gotten shot instead of Tara? Why couldn’t she have died instead? Why, after everything she put her friends through, is she still alive?

It drives me nuts that people rag on the Scoobies for not helping Buffy with the bills. a) Willow and Tara don’t have jobs! They’re students! B) Xander, Anya, and Giles were the only ones to have incomes! Who’s to say they didn’t float whatever money they could for Dawn while Buffy was dead on top of their own bills? ARGHH

_________________
Lotus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((46/?-April 27, 2019))
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 7:41 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 90
Topics: 4
Location: Portland, Or
Ooooh I have read that drabble before! but, now, in this context, it is even more powerful.
Agree 1000% that Willow was on a murder(revenge)/ suicide mission. There have been many fics where Willow during that time tried to kill herself and I fully accept that as cannon, either her trying or trying to try. She was, in her mind, done, and I fully agree that part of her would hate Buffy for saving her.

to add to the rant: not only were Willow and Tara being students, and you touched on these things in your writing, they also were caring for Dawn, helping keep a safe and familiar roof over her head, feeding her, mothering her. Plus patrolling, plus fixing the bot, plus dealing with their own demons and nightmares and grief- I appreciate the little moments you have thrown in as peeks into their life after Buffy died- Willow drifting, Tara's nightmares. And even more, what was the mortgage on that house, how much money went to two burials and services? Anya's medical bills? and on and on....

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((46/?-April 27, 2019))
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 6:10 pm 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:36 am
Posts: 1169
Topics: 4
Location: somewhere inbetween here and there
@shirrey:
Quote:
She was, in her mind, done, and I fully agree that part of her would hate Buffy for saving her.
Man, their friendship sure is complicated :P

Here’s to the memory of our darling and beloved Tara who passed away 17 years ago today. זכרונה לברכה May her memory always be for a blessing.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Note: This chapter takes place in Selfless, Episode 5 of Season 7. They're sort of like scenes in-between what we, the viewers, saw. Think about them logistically and place them chronologically. Any questions, please feel free to ask!



"For god's sake, shut your whimpering mouth."

The magic had felt fudge-like: sticky, warm, and much too rich. With the spider gone, the shattering glass brought her back to herself and Willow stood back, gasping. It had taken more out of her—much more than she'd expected. She hadn't drawn from the earth this time, instead acting instinctively without thought to consequence. The aftertaste of the magic turned thick and sour.

Willow turned back to the girl, more afraid of herself than the spider that had nearly penetrated her barrier. Is that how Dawn had looked when I'd faced her? Tiny and frightened and alone?

"I-I'm sorry," she stammered.

It'd unnerved her. She was frightened at how easy it was still, after everything, to make the wrong decision. How instinctual it had become to pull from more powerful magics.

Despite months in England meditating, training, and focusing her energies, Willow herself could still be so easily unleashed.

The person that haunted her, the one with black eyes and unchecked arrogance and selfishness, wrecking havoc because she could. Because she had wanted to. The Willow she never wanted to be again. The one she was ashamed of.

The thought of it filled her with fear, set her heart racing, skin itching.

“Giles, no,” she said flatly.

“Willow you must. Magic isn’t simply a box you lock and ignore."

“Uh, yes! I can! With the biggest lock ever and a side of throwing away the key, please and thank you."

"It’s a part of you, it always has been.”

God, she hoped not.

“And look at me, Giles,” she shot back desperately, clutching at her chest. “Look where it got me,” her mouth twisted.

“Magic isn’t addiction, Willow," he said, putting a hand on her shoulder. "It is choice.”

“Choice? Choice!? You think I’d choose this?” she demanded. “Giles, I-I can’t breathe.”

“It was always there, Willow. The potential of choice.”

Who was she then? The girl who forsook Harvard to stay in Sunnydale with Buffy? Or the one who chose magic because she wanted to and it was easy.

At first she’d gotten more power because she needed to: To help. Protect. Save. And then, she got more because she could. Tara was right. Tara was always right. She was so blind and it had cost her everything.

“Willow, the first successful spell you ever did was a vampire ensoulment. A rare feat for even a practiced and expertly trained magic-user. And yet you did so from a hospital bed with less than a year of self-taught magics. That type of magic doesn't come without a price. I should know, remember? We're the same, you and I. From the beginning you were on your own. Suffice to say, it was always within you. You were always strong with thirst that begat arrogance, perhaps, but also determination. Bravery. Strength.”

She barked darkly. “Right, like I’m strong. Addict, Villain-”

"Scooby," he interrupts gently.

Amazon.

She deflates and looks at him wearily, so wearily. "I think I forgot, Giles. I forgot how how to be one." It comes out so small but his eyes, patient and kind, hold her steady.

She chooses.


"I can't," Willow said later when she met Buffy's eyes. "I'm sorry." As Buffy wordlessly turned to find Anya, emptiness filled Willow once more. She looked down shamefully as the front door slammed. When was the last time she was able to stand by Buffy's side when she needed her and faced the darkness together?

When she walked out that door, all Willow could see was the Buffy she faced against those months ago. It sickened her. Even with all the magics, it was never Willow's spells that were weak, it was Willow herself. The slip of control that morning at the fraternity was proof.

The magics, she realized with a start.

She might not be strong enough able to face Anya, to tell her the truths that burned too hotly in the shame of her heart, but she knew someone who could.

D'Hoffryn.
________________________________________________________________________

The walk back to her apartment was like molasses, slow and dark. Tears dried in layers on Anya's face, cheeks tightening as more still trickled down. Anya always hated crying, she found it so pathetically weak and human.

Which was exactly what she was, now. Again.

As the day roiled in her stomach, Anya absentmindedly wandered through the streets, keeping to the parks and side streets.

All of her friends were gone, human and demon alike—she'd managed to betray both in one day. Flashes of the frat house carnage replayed in her mind and Anya ducked off the sidewalk to dry heave into the bushes.

She wiped her mouth with the edge of her sleeve and continued into the apartment she called home, empty as it was. She lethargically dropped the keys on the table and jumped, startled by the figure on the couch illuminated softly by a small table lamp.

"What are you doing here, Willow," Anya asked raggedly, too exhausted to be irritated.

"I lied earlier. I do get it. Needing them to hurt. Knowing they deserved it," Willow confided softly, hands in her lap, eyes downcast. "Hoping it would feel better."

Anya's stomach rolled again but there was nothing inside anymore. She could see tears brimming in Willow’s eyes. Anya walked forward silently and sat in the chair opposite the couch but keeps a small distance, the space between buffering their hurts.

"We can be good again," Willow finally said thickly.

Anya barked a dark laugh, "Did you see what I did today, Willow?"

"I don't think that visual will leave me anytime soon, no," Willow admitted.

"Then how can you say that?" Anya accused angrily. "How can you say we can be good again after the things we've done."

"What other choice do we have?” Willow’s voice rose to meet Anya’s, “I close my eyes and I see—" she broke off and looked away. "It doesn't go away. I see him, and the cuts I put on Buffy and Xander's faces, and I just—" Willow deflated, looking out the window. “We can be good again because they want us to be. I don't believe in myself much these days, but Buffy's always been my hero, Xander's always been my best friend, and I trust them more than I trust myself, so. . . Fake it till you make it, right?" she finished with false cheerfulness. "All I want to do is give up, but the thing that keeps me going is knowing they wouldn't want me to. And I never want to hurt them again, so, I won't."

But Anya was too empty for saving graces. She had trusted Xander, once, and look where it had gotten her. She absentmindedly rubbed her finger where the engagement ring used to be. There was a rustle as Willow stood and shuffled to the door, but Anya made no move to escort her out.

Willow paused as she opened the door, "You’re not alone, Anya."

Anya wished she could believe her.

_________________
Lotus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((48/?-May 7th, 2019))
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 6:59 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 90
Topics: 4
Location: Portland, Or
Here’s to the memory of our darling and beloved Tara who passed away 17 years ago today. זכרונה לברכה May her memory always be for a blessing.


To our precious Tara, though her journey has taken her spirit to the otherworlds, her gift remains in our hearts.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((48/?-May 7th, 2019))
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 4:22 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 90
Topics: 4
Location: Portland, Or
I wanted to wait to reply to this until after doing a rewatch of Selfless- I haven't seen most of S7 since it aired and I found that I really didn't need to. It helped flesh out where Anya was , but your writing gives us what the show should have been exploring with Willow. Watching the ep, I didn't understand what Willow meant when she said "I can't" not really- maybe that she couldn't help kill Anya, in your story it seemed to me as "I can't go to the darkness again" and was much clearer within the context (unless I got that context wrong) So back to this chapter:
We can see and feel Willow really starting to heal here, making and accepting the hard choices rather than magicing them away so she doesn't have to feel bad or unworthy or that self-loathing. Her choice shows a maturity, learned through tragedy. And now I do wish Tara were there with her, because this is the hard stuff, but as Tara said, they have to know who they are now, if they can even fit in each others lives. Thanks for giving us what the show didn't even touch.

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((48/?-May 7th, 2019))
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 6:52 pm 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:36 am
Posts: 1169
Topics: 4
Location: somewhere inbetween here and there
@shirrey:
You’re not wrong in your interpretation of the context, but now that I think about it, it seems to me like it could be both: “I can’t go to the darkness again” and also “I can’t help kill Anya, not when I was was in the same place she’s in now and given grace.” I imagine she’d feel very much like a hypocrite. And on top of all that, she also feels miserable for letting Buffy go off alone and do the hard thing that needs to be done. “I left you to do the hard thing alone, again.” So much in so little.

_________________
Lotus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((48/?-May 7th, 2019))
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 4:26 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 176
Another great update! Although it didn't drive me to tears for a change, you made me feel for Anya. I'm glad that Willow visited her and told her she wasn't alone.
Because of the long time that passed since I watched season 7, my memory of what happened in most of the episodes was pretty dim. To better understand the context of the scenes you show us, I just read the plot synopsis of each episode on Wikipedia.
Now I'm curious if you will skip the (in my opinion rather stupid) episode "Him" or if you'll show how Willow will cope with horror of her false love for this guy after the spell is broken.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((48/?-May 7th, 2019))
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:44 pm 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:36 am
Posts: 1169
Topics: 4
Location: somewhere inbetween here and there
@Will’s redemption:
Glad your tear ducts had a bit of a break this time :)

Reading a plot synopsis is certainly good enough - definitely, if you’ve made it this far without needing it. Hopefully you’ve been able to get the gist enough ok.

No need to keep mum about nothing that isn’t a secret - no, I’m not planning on doing ‘Him’. Thought about it, (and we can talk about those ideas later for fun) but went in a different direction. The time period in the show, however, will still progress along the weekly schedule, but yeah I totally skipped it.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

She's almost here, guys. Thank you for your patience

This chapter takes place in Selfless, Episode 5 of Season 7. They're sort of like scenes in-between what we, the viewers, saw. Think about them logistically and place them chronologically. Any questions, please feel free to ask!



All in all, the boys took the situation pretty well. After they’d woken up from the not-slaughter and seen their frat house streaked with blood and trashed, all Buffy had to do was explain it as a rival frat prank for the guys to turn their confusion into competition. Ah, predictable college boys.

She continued to patrol campus to make sure there were no signs of the spider demon. Or any other demons, for that matter. It was a relatively quiet night with only one vampire and a nest full of raccoons, which Buffy backed away from carefully because she so wasn’t dealing with that. She took her time going home and it was nearing one in the morning by the time she rounded the backyard.

“Hey.”

Buffy looked up startled. Willow was sitting on the back kitchen steps wrapped in a robe, cradling a mug. “Hey,” Buffy greeted back, “What are you doing up?”

Willow blew out a breath. “Oh, y’know . . . Can’t sleep.”

Buffy nodded in understanding. She knew that one.“Y’ok?” Willow asked as Buffy plopped down next to her.

“Yeah,” Buffy lied, before thinking better of it. “No,” she said, still unsure. “I don’t know.” She ran her hand through her hair, sighing. “Some days I just really hate being the Slayer.” Days when I have to kill the people I love.

“We don’t make that easy for you, do we?” Willow said almost casually. Almost. Buffy looked over at her, puzzled. “We put you in that position all the time, Buffy. And I’m starting to realize it might not be fair.”

“What do you mean?”

“You were right, earlier today. I just sat there.”

The words flew out of her mouth without thought, “Willow, I underst—”

“No, Buffy,” Willow interrupted, looking miserable. “You don’t get it. I did it to you, again.”

“Did what, Will? You didn’t do anything.”

“I know!” burst out Willow. “That’s exactly it. I didn’t do anything. But I . . . We expected you to.”

Buffy watched Willow play with the mug, rotating and gripping it, as she gathered herself.

“I wanted you kill me, Buffy,” Willow finally admitted. “After she died, I just—” She stopped, thinking of a different way to verbalize her thoughts. “I told you guys I wasn’t coming back, and I meant it. I mean sure, I was a little stuck on the whole ‘revenge’ thing, but. . . I made it so you had no choice but to stop me. So the Slayer had no choice.”
Buffy’s stomach clenched painfully.

“You’re the Slayer, so we expect you to make the tough decisions. And then we get upset with you for making them.”

Buffy still had no words, so Willow continued. “You were right, earlier today. About being the Law. We act like we should have as much a say as you, but then we force you to make the tough calls. We make you the Law and then get upset with you when you use the responsibility we leave you. It can’t work like this anymore.”

That, finally, was something Buffy understood. “No, it can’t.” Her voice was thick, with years of unresolved, unrealized bitterness caught in her throat.

Willow turned the mug around in her hands. “But Xander was right, too. Sometimes there’s another way. We all need t—”
She stopped, correcting herself, “Xander and Giles and I, we need to start accepting responsibility. Same as you.”

The weight that Buffy had been carrying for seven years suddenly felt a little lighter. Buffy didn’t realize how deeply she had pushed her resentment down. Because it had felt selfish, almost. To have the gift of these people in her life, sharing the burden of fighting the forces of darkness, giving up everything - everything, she thought, looking over at Willow- to stand by her side. How could she be angry with them after all that? But over time, Buffy learned, sharing a burden and sharing responsibility were two very different things. Over time, the two had drifted further apart until it seemed as if Buffy stood on an island alone, again, apart from Willow and Xander, looking at them from the distant shore, wondering how and why it was that they had left her there all alone.

The same as me. Buffy repeated Willow’s words. What could that kind of shared burden even look like? How would it even work. Half a dozen problems with the idea sprang to mind immediately and the lightness she felt just a moment ago quickly faded. “Will,” she sighed in a voice not unlike a parent breaking bad news to their child, “It won’t always be so easy.”

“I know,” Willow acknowledged quickly. “I know, but...I think all of us have kind of outgrown ‘easy’ at this point, don’t’cha think?”

Buffy pursed her lips, weighing the offer. “Has Xander...” the question trailed off, wondering if he’d already agreed to this.

“Not yet, but it’s something we probably should have done a long time ago. I’m sure he’ll be on board.” Willow’s expression darkened for a moment. “Besides, Xander and I need to have a little chat, apparently, over a certain big fat juicy lie he’s been keeping from both of us for five years.”

Willow turned to her, “I never told him that, Buffy.” she said urgently, “About Angel—”

Buffy interrupted her, gesturing to stop. She didn’t have it in her to revisit that moment, it was just too painful. Too much after today. She clenched her jaw tightly a few times and took a few deep breaths, gathering herself with everything that had just been said.

“Thank you,” she said, meaning it deeply. “But I think I’ve hit my heavy conversation limit for the day. There’s probably a lot more for us to talk about, like,” she exhaled, cheeks puffing out, “A lot more, but maybe we could hit the big ol’ pause button for tonight? My brain kinda feels like it’s about to explode.”

Willow nodded in agreement. “Yeah, do you have this little pressure headache –”

“Right behind the eyes? Oh yeah.”

“Tea?” Willow offered, handing her the mug.

Buffy blinked in surprise. “Tea? From Ms. Mocha-so-strong-it-vibrates?”

Willow chuckled. “Yeah, well. Things change, I guess.”

“Thank you,” repeated Buffy, deeply, “For telling me.” She took one of Willow’s hands and threaded their fingers together.

“All of it.”
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tara knows she’s out of time.

Well, technically, she has all the time in the world. Never ending amounts of time trapped in this undying, unliving limbo of an existence, where nothing ages, nothing dies, nothing is. There’s nothing to suggest that she can’t stay here forever if she wants to. But if anything, that interminable immortality reminds her of the unnaturality of it. She looks down at the spell she created and gnaws her lip in fear.

After Spike’s appearance, the more time she spends here, the more she’s reminded of what she’s missing. But the more she witnesses from the other side, through him, the more she doubts herself

She’s dead.


That’s it.

To change what the natural order has decided? Magic can’t . . . shouldn’t be used to change things. Every magical cell in her body knows this.

But, oh, she remembers how tempting it is. How badly she wanted to say a few words and have her mother back after she’d passed. Her only connection to the world—the only person who had made her feel loved and who she had loved in return—gone, leaving the world a cruel and colorless place. So instead she ran away to escape that feeling. Sure, she’d wanted to leave the rest of her family behind, but mostly she couldn’t bear to stay in the negative spaces where her mother used to be. She ran to California, where she hoped the sunshine could brighten the greyscale of her world. Sure enough, it did. And two years later at a wicca group meeting, Tara’s world colored.

She’s run away from death only to have it find her again. And again, and again, and again. Death is never far from the Scoobies; it waits in the wings, just around the corner. Taking and taking and taking, without discrimination. She remembers Dawn’s grief, the way it nearly knocked on the front door as a monstrous thing. Dawn’s grief mirrors her own, and her chest hurts with the familiar unfairness of it all. First Joyce. Then Buffy. Then...herself.

Fate has spoken, the fabric of life cut.

Who is she to say otherwise?

To interfere is to make the world come unglued; manipulate it piece by piece until it is nothing more than a lie reshaped to resemble the shadow of truth.

“I’m scared,” she admitted to him quietly, late one night.

“Can tell that much myself, thanks.”

Tara swears she can hear the words of spell whisper. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

“If it doesn’t work?”

“No,” she admitted softly, “If it does.”

He squints, confused. “Sorry, gonna have to explain that one, love. Isn’t it what you want?”

“The spell,” she explains. “It’s not for a resurrection.”

“What?” He asks incredulously, “Why the bloody hell not?”

“Because,” she says, searching for words to explain what she knows deep inside, “It’s not right. It’s not natural.”

“You think this,” he gestures around them, “Is natural?”

“No, I don’t, but Spike. I died. I can’t change that. And who would I be if I did?”

Spike sighs and shakes his head. Looking at her seriously for a moment, he knelt beside her, nudging her chin gently to meet his gaze. His voice is soft. “I’ve been alive longer th’n most, and I‘m still afraid of death. All vampires are. Trust me when I say you’re never going to be ready. There’s never a good time to go, but you can’t stay here. And neither can I, frankly. I’m either getting more crazy or less, but either way your window might be closing, Tara. It’s now or never.”

“Don’t suppose it could be never,” she joked through tears.

“I may be immortal,” he smiled back, “But I’m definitely not a saint.”


There is nothing to say her spell will work. It is of Tara’s own creation, worded as ambiguously as possible: calling on Isis to help restore her to wholeness. She has no idea if that will mean life or death. If it will bring her back to the real Sunnydale, or help her pass on to wherever she should have gone after her death.

All the same, despite knowing that this place, this existence is unnatural and that the spell is justifiable, it is a huge risk. Here, at least, she exists.

She thinks of her mother. She thinks of Dawn and Buffy, Xander and Anya. She thinks, as always, of Willow. Thinks of all the people who have given her life meaning and purpose, says a quiet goodbye in her heart, just in case, and kisses them farewell. Tara doesn’t know what, if anything, lies on the other side of the spell. It could be a second chance, or It could be nothing. But she has loved and been loved and that, in itself, is a good life.

He’s right. It’s time. She takes a deep breath, relinquishing the decision of her fate to the those who may know better, says a prayer to the goddess, and begins.

_________________
Lotus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((49/?-May 21st, 2019))
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:57 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 176
DIBS! :whip

After this little comic relief:

Quote:
a nest full of raccoons, which Buffy backed away from carefully because she so wasn’t dealing with that


you give us another much needed conversation between Willow and Tara that the original show missed. I'm so glad Willow let Buffy know that her fall to Dark Willow was mainly an attempt to committ suicide by the hands of the slayer and that she realized how horrible that must have been for Buffy. It's good that Xander's lie all those years ago is corrected but set aside for now.
And then this:

Quote:
She stopped, correcting herself, “Xander and Giles and I, we need to start accepting responsibility. Same as you.”

The weight that Buffy had been carrying for seven years suddenly felt a little lighter. Buffy didn’t realize how deeply she had pushed her resentment down. Because it had felt selfish, almost. To have the gift of these people in her life, sharing the burden of fighting the forces of darkness, giving up everything - everything, she thought, looking over at Willow- to stand by her side. How could she be angry with them after all that? But over time, Buffy learned, sharing a burden and sharing responsibility were two very different things. Over time, the two had drifted further apart until it seemed as if Buffy stood on an island alone, again, apart from Willow and Xander, looking at them from the distant shore, wondering how and why it was that they had left her there all alone.


Wow. Such a powerful moment, such an epiphany for both Willow and Buffy and their relationship. That really gives me faith they (and the other scoobies) could be able to change their shared life vor the better even if Tara wouln't return to them. But I'm fervently hoping I won't have to find out because Tara will complete their family once again.

That brings me to the scene with Tara (and her remembered conversation with Spike).

Quote:
To interfere is to make the world come unglued; manipulate it piece by piece until it is nothing more than a lie reshaped to resemble the shadow of truth.


Wow again. Such wisdom in one sentence.

I kind of wanted to hug Spike for giving Tara the "pep talk" she needed. I hope the friendship those two built in Limbo will keep and strengthen in the real world.

The end of the chapter made me teary again (I'm such a crybaby):

Quote:
She thinks of her mother. She thinks of Dawn and Buffy, Xander and Anya. She thinks, as always, of Willow. Thinks of all the people who have given her life meaning and purpose, says a quiet goodbye in her heart, just in case, and kisses them farewell. Tara doesn’t know what, if anything, lies on the other side of the spell. It could be a second chance, or It could be nothing. But she has loved and been loved and that, in itself, is a good life.


Yes it is, it was, but much too short! :cry

Now I'm ferwently hoping Isis will grant Tara new life in her own, restored body without her having to escape out of her coffin.
I'm dying to know what will happen, please update again really soon!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((49/?-May 21st, 2019))
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 9:36 am 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 90
Topics: 4
Location: Portland, Or
Raccoons are far more diabolical than vampires. Buffy made the right move.
There was something so melancholy to this whole update for me.
Willow is showing her maturity in her recognition of and understanding that she has to face responsibility, but it is an aging steeped in the pain and loss she has been through, it is a gaining through a loss of innocence in a way. It's a hard lesson I think all adults go through but its still sad. I am glad that Willow realized and communicated what they often ask Buffy to do, but equally glad that she reminded Buffy that there are also alternatives sometimes. Yes, Buffy has to make hard choices as the Slayer, but she equally sometimes forgets the choices she has a human. And Willow seems to be willing to take on that responsibility as well, being that voice and supporting Buffy. Willow's admission to Buffy, that she wanted Buffy to kill her, was not only heartbreaking but also showed how distanced Willow (not DW) was from Buffy, her friend, partially because Buffy was fragmenting herself, distancing herself- the Slayer is a role she can fall into, it has rules, the human role is much trickier. And Buffy kind of failed at that in season six- its more complicated than just that of course. BUt Willow's major issue was facing the judgement and failure that sometimes comes with responsibility, she seems willing to do that now, as hard as it still will be.
I feel really excited but also saddened by what seems to be coming- and I don't fully know why. Maybe its Willow's resignation, that she seems to be moving past Tara's death. Or Tara's resignation to death or whatever Isis chooses to allow. Tara is really letting go. And since this is the Kitten board, I know there will be a happy ending but there are losses here, and they hurt. But Spike is right, Tara has to make a choice if she wants anything to change, or that second chance.
what more is there to life than to be loved and love back? Sigh.

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((49/?-May 21st, 2019))
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 7:06 pm 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:36 am
Posts: 1169
Topics: 4
Location: somewhere inbetween here and there
@will's_redemption:
I’m glad someone got a kick out of the raccoons - it was funny in my head, but such a brief moment, I was worried no one would appreciate it the way I did :)

Quote:
“Such a powerful moment, such an epiphany for both Willow and Buffy and their relationship. That really gives me faith they (and the other scoobies) could be able to change their shared life for the better even if Tara wouln't return to them.”

The Scoobies really needed to be fixed for S7. That was one of the things a friend and I talked a lot about, is that there can’t be an alternate canon S7 without addressing the in-group frustrations. And they’re there! Touched upon as early as ‘Dead Man’s Party’ back in S3, but never brought to light and resolved. And this is really what Lotus is about. Sure, Tara’s resurrected, but there’s a reason the summary is “We encounter our heroes who stumble brokenly, desperate to find a new path and heal.” All of them are our heroes, and they’re broken. They all need healing and fixing.

@shirrey:
So interesting that the last update felt melancholy to you. I went back and re-read it and with the lens you described, realized wow, yeah. Melancholy. It ends on almost a goodbye, with Tara kissing the world farewell, uncertain of what comes next. (We know what happens, obviously, else it wouldn’t be posted on this site, but for Tara, that unknowing is massive)

And for Buffy and Willow, they're definitely moving on. And as bittersweet as it without having Tara in it, they need it. Tara can’t come along and magically fix everything (even though she totally, absolutely could because she is That Essential). They have to do the hard work themselves, or else they’ll fall into the same pattern of behavior that got them into trouble in the first place. Both Buffy and Willow are taking on responsibility - not just the big life and death ones related to Slaying, but the big ones for the small things that are just as important: their friendship. They both failed each other in lots of ways, and only now can they move forward, together, ready to face what comes next.

_________________
Lotus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((49/?-May 21st, 2019))
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 7:35 pm 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:36 am
Posts: 1169
Topics: 4
Location: somewhere inbetween here and there
This chapter takes place after Selfless, Episode 5 of Season 7.
*wordplay borrowed from Tulipp's Terra Firma, which, if you haven't read it before, please stop what you're doing and read it. Bring a blanket and a cup of tea, you'll be there for a while, but it'll be worth it, I promise.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Turned out missing a month of classes could put you behind. Even for someone who loved school, Willow was having a tough time catching up. She was even beginning to get sick of being in the library, which was something she’d never thought possible. Still, she was grateful to her professors for letting her join their classes long after the add/drop period. She missed school; it was where she felt the most Willow. It helped her remember who that was.

Still, she was she was exhausted by the time her study group let out and she made it home. “Buffy’s out patrolling,” Dawn called from the dining room. Willow peeled off her jacket and let the book-bag fall to the floor as she flopped into a chair across from Dawn. “Long day?” Dawn said, watching Willow slump across the table.

“I can feel my brain hurt,” Willow moaned.

“That’s physically impossible,” Dawn pointed out.

“Tell that to my brain,” Willow mumbled into the table.

Dawn lifted one of Willow’s limp arms lying atop one of her notebooks. “Well tell your brain to not ooze all over my biology homework.”

Interest piqued, Willow turned her head to the side just enough to peek. “Biology?”

Dawn gave her a look of sublime skepticism. “I thought your brain hurt.”

Fully engaged at this point, Willow scooched her chair closer to the textbooks. “Well, it does,” Willow admitted, “But that was for other stuff, not biology,” she scoffed, displaying a renewed second wind of excited energy. “What’cha working on?”

“Enzymes. What did you do when you had the enzymatic reactions lab?”

“Well, our teacher kinda turned into a monster in the middle of the curriculum, so we missed that one. But hey!” she brightened, nudging Dawn enthusiastically. “Now we can do it together!”

Dawn shrugged. “Okay, as long as I get full credit.”

“Great! Lemme go change and I’ll be right back,” Willow announced, grabbing her bag and coat from the floor, before climbing the stairs.

She crossed the upstairs hallway to the bathroom when a wave of dizziness passed through her. She leaned against the door jamb for balance, swaying unsteadily. The hairs on the back of her neck stood to attention. But the wave soon passed as quickly as it had come. “Oookay . . . don’t skip lunch, and bring study snacks next time,” Willow noted. “Message received.”

The floor creaked down the hallway in Buffy’s room. “Buffy?” She called, “Are you back? How was—” The words evaporated before reaching her lips and Willow stood stunned in the hallway, eyes glued to the floor of Buffy’s room.

Because nothing in the world had prepared her for the sight of Tara lying on the carpet.

Immediately the world started to spin. Willow’s heart exploded, pounding, pulsing in her ears; it was deafening. She clamped her hands against her ears to dim the whooshing, but it only served to make things louder. Cringing in pain and confusion, Willow whimpered, searching around the room wildly for answers, eyes coming to rest on the window.

The window.

No, the window had broken. The window was . . . whole? She heard it shatter. Everything shattered.

Tara was lying on the carpet. Tara is lying on the carpet?

She was hyperventilating.

Tara was lying on the carpet. Willow clenched her eyes shut and grit her teeth. Tara was lying on the carpet.

I just remember thinking I wasn’t ready to see you guys yet . . .

. . . Thinking . . .

Willow’s eyes opened wide.

Tara was lying on the carpet.

Oh god, what have I done?

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
It’s done.

There’s a crinkle, a kind of sigh, and Tara opens her eyes.*

Light filters in from what must be a hallway, but it’s dark, and she is in a bedroom—that much she can tell. It seems like Joyce’s bedroom, the one she and Willow had shared. But things have changed. The pictures on the wall have been replaced and the bed is different. She sits up, absorbing the surroundings, reveling in her continued existence.

A dog barks in a yard across the street, pulling Tara from her reverie, her head snapping toward the sound. She stares, slack jawed, with a look of awe on her face at the mundane noise.

Still stunned, but eager to continue exploring, she makes her way to get up, but wobbles. Tara presses a hand to her head against the hum of lightheadedness that assaults her. A few seconds pass before she feels steady enough to try again. She is soon stopped by another dizzy spell, but this time because of the figure in the doorway.

Willow stands, completely frozen like a statue. Tara’s stomach flips. They stare at each other as time stretches, in matched shock and stillness. The dog barks again, reminding Tara this isn’t a dream, and it propels her forward.

She takes a step, and as if that motion is enough to break whatever spell Willow is under, she moves in return, taking a step backward. Tara hesitates, frowning. More slowly this time, she takes another small step and again, Willow shuffles farther away. Tara finally takes a step forward, reaching out her hand, when Willow suddenly flees in horror.

Tara’s forehead wrinkles in confusion. Before she can follow, Willow has already bolted down the stairs and run outside. Tara makes it down in time to watch helplessly as Willow stumbles across the front yard, panicked and scared like a wild animal.
Willow’s hands twist in her hair, she’s muttering to herself and pacing with her eyes trained straight down at the ground.

Tara takes a few steps forward, unsure of how to proceed, arm held out in front of her uselessly, trying to figure out what to do.

Neither of them notice Dawn approach the front door to take in the scene in front of her.

“Oh my god,” Dawn gapes, dropping her pencil. “Oh my god,” she repeats.

Tara swivels at the sound, locking onto the sounds of Dawn’s distress. “Dawn,” she breathes. There’s a swirl of emotion on her face, joy and hope conflicting with uncertainty and worry at the situation.

“Oh my god,” Dawn says again, louder this time. Without tearing her gaze away from Tara, she says, “Willow, what happened?” Willow doesn’t break pace. “What happened?” Dawn asks again, more forcefully. Willow shakes her head, muttering to herself with her eyes clenched tight.

“What did you do?” Dawn demands.

“I— I—” Willow stammers, staring at her hands, palms open facing the sky, retreating further into herself. “I don’t—”

“Dawn, step away from that.”

Dawn and Tara look past Willow to see Buffy standing at the end of the driveway. There’s an intense look of concentration on her face, and her body posture evokes that of a hunter, stalking quietly, ready to attack at any moment.

For her part, Willow hasn’t looked at Tara since coming outside. In fact, it almost seems as if she’s forgotten Tara entirely, focusing on trying to calm herself down. There’s a veritable garden surrounding Willow, plants and flowers that weren’t there a minute ago blossoming at her every step. She seems unaware of Buffy’s presence.

Dawn and Buffy are squared off, Tara between them, and no one notices Willow collapse like a doll farther out on the lawn, as suddenly as if a light switch had been turned off.

“Buffy?” Dawn asks, lost and confused, eyes darting between Tara and her sister.

“Get away from it,” she responds in a hard voice.

“What?” Dawn replies, dazed, but making no motion to move from where she stands.

“If that’s Tara, it means she’s the big bad we’ve been waiting for, and there’s no way that’s a possibility. Or its the big bad pretending to be Tara. Either way, that’s not our Tara. So, again, Dawn. Please be a good sister and step away from whatever the hell that is,” Buffy explains in an eerily calm tone that belies the tension in her stance. She never stops
stalking closer.

Dawn hesitates, clearly conflicted.

“Willow, you too,” Buffy continues, not tearing her eyes off Tara. At the lack of response, Buffy finally breaks eye contact, looking for her and all three of them finally notice the unconscious redhead.

Tara shouts Willow’s name and runs to where she’s fallen. Buffy rushes to intercept, grabbing Tara’s arm before she gets there. At the touch, a wave of energy rushes through them, radiating throughout their bodies.

With matched expressions of surprise and confusion, Tara and Buffy stand locked in this position as Dawn rushes across the lawn to Willow, still out cold in the grass. The flowers surrounding Willow recede into the earth, the last one melting away just as Dawn skids to her side.

“Willow,” both Tara and Buffy utter as one.

_________________
Lotus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((49/?-May 21st, 2019))
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 10:03 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 90
Topics: 4
Location: Portland, Or
Zooeys_Bridge wrote:
And for Buffy and Willow, they're definitely moving on. And as bittersweet as it without having Tara in it, they need it. Tara can’t come along and magically fix everything (even though she totally, absolutely could because she is That Essential). They have to do the hard work themselves, or else they’ll fall into the same pattern of behavior that got them into trouble in the first place. Both Buffy and Willow are taking on responsibility - not just the big life and death ones related to Slaying, but the big ones for the small things that are just as important: their friendship. They both failed each other in lots of ways, and only now can they move forward, together, ready to face what comes next.


oh I definitely see that that is where they need to be and Tara cannot and more so, should not, ride in to put things back into place. It was more of a sad reaction to the sense of letting go, no matter how necessary it is, its still hard.

For the latest update: Wows that was intense. Everyone's reactions were spot on, especially Dawn being torn between hope and fear. And Willow spiraling, her work at trusting, knowing, herself, unravelling. That cool but maybe worrisome unintentional magic. But it was nature magic, so gotta be better than flaying magic. Buffy, having to step into the role of Slayer again. And I was still holding my breath through it all. So many things. First, I love seeing Willow embracing the knowledge lover that she is, her perking up for Biology was so cute and shows how far she has grown with her healing, which makes her aforementioned unravelling more potent.
And then, Tara. I love how the barking of the dog grounds her, the mundane things of a living world bringing her to the present. Tara has not stepped into an easy place, cannot wait to see where you take us from this. You cliffhangered us! Can't wait :)

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((51/?-May 29th, 2019))
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 10:37 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 176
Yay, Tara is back, thank goddess Isis!
I'm glad for Tara that the resurrection (?) went so smoothly, with her just reentering the real world in the same place she left it.
For Willow it was the greatest shock of her life of course. Poor girl, believing that she unintentionally did something horrible like ripping Tara out of heaven or even creating a zombie-Tara...
I fervently hope that Tara can convince them all quickly that she's the "real her" and that she herself chose to return out of the hell she was trapped in. I guess Willow will blame herself for that too, though, thinking that her fall into dark magic somehow lead to Tara's soul being trapped in that limbo. I'm really curious who or what really was responsible for that…

Quote:
Buffy rushes to intercept, grabbing Tara’s arm before she gets there. At the touch, a wave of energy rushes through them, radiating throughout their bodies.


Hm, I'm wondering what that energy thing means and how Buffy will react to it - will it convince her that Tara is real or strengthen her belief of the opposite?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((51/?-May 29th, 2019))
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:46 pm 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:36 am
Posts: 1169
Topics: 4
Location: somewhere inbetween here and there
@shirrey: Sometimes I can get going about something and forget to pull back and start with "I agree with what you're saying, here's why." I didn't once get the feeling you didn't think it was also necessary and right even though it was hard. Sorry for that

Things are pretty intense from here on out - buckle up!

re: Willow perking up at biology - Will can't stop being Will, no matter how hard she tries or thinks it's beyond her. That's our nerdy girl :)

@wil'ls_redemption:
Not zombie-Tara. Just regular our-Tara :) here's hoping Tara can convince them of her real self as much as she can herself... :)

Quote:
"Hm, I'm wondering what that energy thing means and how Buffy will react to it - will it convince her that Tara is real or strengthen her belief of the opposite?"
Much as I hate being the jerk to say it - you'll have to keep reading to find out:)
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Willow dreams of a garden.

She wakes, the garden’s scent lingering in her nostrils, and moans as pain shoots through her side. She reaches across her torso to clutch her ribs and shoulder, throbbing and sore from her fall.

Her fall? Willow frowns. She doesn’t remember falling. Though it hadn’t been unusual over the summer, it’d rarely happened since returning to Sunnydale. “Ow,” she mumbles, sitting up groggily in the grass. Suddenly, it comes to her in a tidal wave: Her fall. Grass. Sunnydale. Tara. Her eyes snap open.

Dawn is kneeling near her, an arm cautiously hovering around Willow’s shoulders, concern laced across her features.

“Dawn, what happened?” Willow asks shakily, fumbling to a standing position.

Dawn doesn’t move, moving her jaw soundlessly as if unsure of what exactly to say, glancing repeatedly over Willow’s shoulder. Willow follows her gaze and turns to see Buffy, looking relieved at Willow’s recovery but very much still in Slayer mode, Tara beside her.

The blood leaves Willow’s face. “No,” she whispers in horror. “No no no no no, this isn’t happening.”

Tara manages to wrench herself out of Buffy’s grip and rushes over to Willow. Before she can get there, though, Buffy appears and plants herself in-between them, holding them apart, each arm outstretched to the others’ chest. In a larger and repeat performance of what had happened when Tara and Buffy touched, a great glow of energy thrums between them at the moment Buffy makes contact with both of them, vibrating through their arms and blowing their hair as if there’d been a gust of wind.

Part of her had recognized it instantly, the connection. It had felt familiar almost, the energy, as if she’d been waiting for it her whole life. She thought it was the magics at first. Only it turned out to be Tara, of course; Willow recognizing a piece of herself from far away. Her body had panted with understanding in that laundry room, long before her mind caught up to what her heart recognized upon first touch. It was what she reached out for every time they did another spell after that. Floating roses, demon finding; Willow hadn’t known it at first, but they were all just excuses to touch Tara again.

She recognizes it now.

“Tara?” she quavers in wonder.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
“Spike,” Tara says by way of answer, as if that explains everything.

They’re in the dining room, Tara at the head of the table, Buffy and Dawn to either side, Willow next to Buffy.

“Spike!” Tara repeats with urgency, as if the name suddenly reminds her of something important. She scrapes the chair back, stands alert and alarmed. “Is he okay? Where is he? We have to—”

“Hey,” Buffy reassures her, reaching across the table to touch Tara’s hand. “Hey. It’s okay. I already called Xander. He’s looking for him.” Tara nods satisfied, relaxing back into her seat.

The entire exchange, Willow sits folded into herself, arms crossed tightly as if she were going to unravel right there in the dining room. Dawn, for her part, is sitting as close to Tara as physically possible while still being in another chair.

“So. Spike. Crazy Spike?” Buffy remarked skeptically.

“Not crazy,” Tara shakes her head and taps her chest, “Me.”

“Yes, this is pretty crazy, but trust me. He’s crazy.”

“No,” Tara tries to explain, “I mean, part of his crazy is me. At least I think it is. I-its kind of hard to tell sometimes.”

“Well at least that’s consistent. So, what about him?”

“I’m still not sure, exactly? I don’t know where I was, only that there was no magic, and I couldn’t get out. Not until he showed up.”

“Showed up?” Dawn queries, “When? How?”

“I don’t know, a few weeks ago maybe? Sorry, this is just . . .” Tara looks around overwhelmed, waving her hand to try and express the inexpressible. Her face collapses and she quickly brings a hand up to catch a sob. Willow makes a move towards Tara, but catches herself immediately and sits very still, wrapping herself tighter. Dawn doesn’t have the same qualms. She places an arm on Tara’s shoulder and reaches for one of Tara’s hands. At the touch, Tara softens and gives Dawn a look of immense gratitude and love. She squeezes Dawn back, and though tears fall unabashedly at this point, continues to hold it reverently.

Buffy’s posture has softened a bit—no longer antagonistic—but still stiff with unknowing.

“I was here,” Tara starts anew. “In Sunnydale. But . . . it was different. Like, you know at 4am when the world is really still and quiet and it seems like you’re the only thing that’s alive? It was like that, but all the time.”

“So it was just you,” Buffy clarifies. “Nothing . . . nobody else. Until Spike.”

Tara nods. “I woke up one morning and he was here, in the house, making pancakes.”

Buffy’s eyebrows shoot up in disbelief. “Spike, vampire Spike. Cooking,” she repeats, as if it’ll help her understand better.

Tara chuckles and nods. “I had a hard time believing it myself, but then he started talking to you.”

Buffy’s as surprised as everyone else. “Me?”

“At first. Then it was other people. Anya, Dawn,” Tara lists, looking over at Dawn to see her beaming. She sobers momentarily before continuing in a guarded tone, “Willow.” As she says the name, Tara finally looks across the table. Her gaze is loving, but a little clouded. She pulls herself out of it and quickly resumes talking. “There were other voices too. He sort of . . . talked to himself a lot.”

“Good to know that hasn’t changed,” Buffy mutters.

“It took a while to find which spell to use. I kind of made one up myself. A-and I wasn’t sure what it would do, exactly, but I guess it worked somehow.” She gives an empty half-smile.

“Wait, I thought you said magic didn’t work where you were.”

“It didn’t. But Spike had . . . has,” she corrects, “A soul.” She finishes slowly, gently, unsure if Buffy and the others know.

Buffy shakes her head, confused, “I don’t understand, what does Spike’s soul have to do with magic?”

Willow’s eyes widen in understanding. She speaks for the first time, “Energy.” All eyes turn to her. Having spoken once, she looks back down, picking at the edge of her sweater nervously, uncomfortable with the attention.

“That’s right,” Tara confirms, eyeing Willow. “It was a source of energy, one I could use to channel magic.”

“So you don’t know where you were?” Dawn asks. Another question comes to her, and she looks a little apprehensive to ask it. “Do you know . . . what happened while you were gone?”

Everyone tenses, trying not to look at Willow. Tara swallows. “He told me what little he knew.” When she looks up, it’s only at Willow. It’s a loaded comment, vague, but spoken with a weight of a degree of knowing. “B-but no,” Tara drags her attention back to the group as a whole. “I don’t know where I was.”

Buffy glances quickly at Willow before turning back to Tara. “All that matters is you’re here now,” she comforts. Tara looks up at her gratefully. Willow hasn’t moved. Buffy pats the table, pushes her chair back, and stands. “I’m gonna go make some calls. Dawn? Can you help get the extra bed set up for Tara?”

“A-actually,” Tara interjects in a small voice, “I’d really like to not be alone tonight. I’ve kind of had enough of that for one lifetime.”

Buffy looks over at Dawn, still holding Tara’s hand, and smiles. “I understand,” she says. “Besides, I don’t think we can pry Dawn off of you with a crowbar anyway, so I’m glad you’re down for a sleepover.”

Tara and Dawn also stand, Tara giving a lingering glance to Willow, before turning out of the room. Willow’s eyes follow her hungrily but she makes no move to get up.

Buffy turns to head into the kitchen. “Will?” she calls, jerking her head and beckoning her to follow. Willow wrings her hands, looking anxiously at where Dawn and Tara have exited. “Will,” Buffy repeats, more softly this time. It works, catching Willow’s attention. “C’mon. Let’s go call Giles.”

_________________
Lotus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((53/?-June 12th, 2019))
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:07 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 90
Topics: 4
Location: Portland, Or
No sorries needed Zooey :)

Well I'm glad that Buffy took Willow's word as confirmation of Tara being Tara, a Slayer interrogation would have been no fun for Tara.
Your sentence structure had a staccato feel, it really leant to the sense of tension, easing when it came to Dawn's lovely unwavering support. I am glad that Tara spoke up for her need of company and comfort. And I am endlessly curious as to what is going through Willow's mind. There are so many options.

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((53/?-June 12th, 2019))
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:41 pm 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 632
Topics: 2
Location: North Carolina, USA
Quote:
Willow makes a move towards Tara, but catches herself immediately and sits very still, wrapping herself tighter.

“A-actually,” Tara interjects in a small voice, “I’d really like to not be alone tonight. I’ve kind of had enough of that for one lifetime.”

Buffy looks over at Dawn, still holding Tara’s hand, and smiles. “I understand,” she says. “Besides, I don’t think we can pry Dawn off of you with a crowbar anyway, so I’m glad you’re down for a sleepover.”



I feel like I need to re-read. If I were Willow, and I saw that Dawn could touch Tara, I'd be all with the being on the other side practically out of my chair. When I read about her not wanting to be alone. My immediate thoughts of a bed partner was not Dawn. :blush At the end of Seeing Red, Tara and Willow are back together. Why is Willow acting like she is broken up.

I re-read everything to see why Willow reacts the way she does. I get that she thinks Tara returning is her fault. But what does she think she has done. She's been working on accepting that Tara is dead, not pondering ways to get her back...

I really like this story and look forward to learning more about what you see for the girls.

Thanks for the update.

_________________
Atlantic Antics
Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((53/?-June 12th, 2019))
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:55 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 176
Poor Willow! I guess she doesn't dare to touch Tara or get closer to her because she is sure she will loose her again, that Tara won't want to have anything to do with her anymore after learning the whole truth about Willow's fall into darkness. I still suspect that Willow believes she is somehow responsible for Tara getting trapped in Limbo-Sunnydale, then she probably thinks Tara will never forgive her for that either. By keeping her distance to Tara Willow probably tries to prepare herself for the permanent seperation she thinks is inevitable. I wouldn't be surprised if in the next scene Willow suggested to Buffy that she (Willow) should move out of the house now.

I really hope Tara will come to the same conclusion as me regarding Willow's distant behaviour instead of thinking "Willow doesn't love me anymore!".


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((53/?-June 12th, 2019))
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:29 am 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:36 am
Posts: 1169
Topics: 4
Location: somewhere inbetween here and there
@shirrey:
Quote:
Well I'm glad that Buffy took Willow's word as confirmation of Tara being Tara, a Slayer interrogation would have been no fun for Tara....Your sentence structure had a staccato feel, it really leant to the sense of tension, easing when it came to Dawn's lovely unwavering support.


There was also the weird connection that flew between Buffy and Tara when they touched, and the fact that it happened again but MORE when they touched Willow is certainly....strange. Plus, I feel like Willow's at a stage now where if something about Tara seems off, she's the first one to keep far far away. And even if it is Tara, she'd still keep far, far away. Cause there's guilt about what she's done, of course, and how that affects Tara. But also, it's a self-preservation thing for herself, too. There's a lot going on, poor girls.

I never noticed the rhythm of the sentences as you described them, but that's so right! Thanks, as always, for the insight :)

@taranwillow4ever:
Quote:
Why is Willow acting like she is broken up.

Well, in my mind, Willow nearly swallowed the world in her grief. And walking back from that cliff comes an enormous amount of shame and guilt. After the initial shock of seeing Tara, I can imagine Willow would still be freaking out, albeit in a more internal way. So she's still very much Not Okay, and dealing with the knowledge of what she's done in front of Tara is a whole other thing onto itself.
Plus, as Tara herself is hinting at, she knows a little of what happened after she was shot. She knows something happened with Willow and it was not good. For all intents and purposes, they kind of are broken up. So until Willow and Tara can clear up everything between them (and there's a LOT between them that this time absolutely can't be skipped or kissed aside), it probably makes more sense for Tara to bunk with Dawn.

Thanks for reading, I hope you like the next chapter!

@Will's_redemption:
Bingo, you nailed it. Will's got loads of guilt, shame, uncertainty, self-control, just trying to keep herself together.
But you know our Tara, perceptive to a fault. I'm sure she's not only sensed the same thing about Willow and also she's kind of suffering from the same fears/doubts/etc! What a pair they make :)



_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


“Yes, I daresay this qualifies as a priority, Rupert,” Ms. Hartness says to him on the phone. “Don’t worry about the Potentials. We’ll find the other girls and send them to you in Sunnydale. Yes. Yes of course, we’ll start looking into it immediately. Tell her . . . Tell her to hum. She’ll understand. . . Yes. . . We’ll find an answer, Rupert. Good luck.”

When she hangs up the phone (rotary, black, wall-mounted, from the ‘70s), she pauses for a moment, letting the implications of what she’d been told sink in.

Her first thought, of course, is Willow. Willow who came to them muted and shattered. Who came to them expecting retribution and reprisal, and was nearly broken by their acceptance. Now, Marissa fears, things are going to get interesting. The power and choice is up to Willow, as it always has been. And from what Rupert has told her, that is a lesson Tara had tried to impart to Willow as well.

She wasn’t even that close to the table, but even from several paces away, Ms. Hartness was able to see the guilt radiating from Willow. It was nothing new, of course. Everything Willow did was tinged with shame and emptiness.
“What’s that, Willow?” she asked lightly, watching as Willow slowly angled the siddur into view.

Hebrew appeared occasionally in various magical texts. The Jewish mystics wrote copious volumes, and discussions of those volumes, and discussions of those discussions, and so on and so forth until there were entire shelves devoted to Judaic magical texts.

“Ah, yes. There’s magic in just about every religion, did you know that?” Willow didn’t speak, but her face adopted a curious-yet-pensive expression. It was more than she’d seen from Willow since her arrival, and Ms. Hartness took that as a sign to continue.

“Oh yes. It’s in every religion to some degree or another, woven into prayers or rituals. And not just in the metaphoric sense. For the Buddhists and Hindus, it’s in meditation. For some Christians, sacrifice. And in Judaism, prayers like those strengthen community, connection, and healing. If you’re really curious, you should speak to Rachel. She can tell you more about it in greater detail. Came to us from an orthodox community in London several years ago.”

Willow looked back down at the prayerbook, looking less embarrassed, regarding it with a new sense of respect. “She always tried to teach me.” The words were hoarse and Marissa had to strain to hear them.

“Tara?” Willow’s breathing hitched, just a bit, as it always did at the name, but she pushed through and nodded nonetheless. “I didn’t know she was Jewish as well,” Ms. Hartness replied.

“She wasn’t. But she still tried to teach me.”

“I would have very much liked to meet her,” Ms. Hartness replied kindly.

“She would have liked to meet you, too,” Willow trembled, eyes shining.


Well, thinks Marissa, it appears the opportunity may have re-presented itself. They have two witches to try and protect, now. And this time, she intends to be more proactive.

Rupert has given her a task. It’s time to get to work. They have Slayers to find.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________


“Sorry I can’t get it to work,” Dawn says apologetically, the air mattress plug dangling uselessly in her hand.

Tara smiled. “That’s okay, Dawnie, I think a proper sleepover will be better, don’t you?” Dawn beams and for the hundredth time that night, leans in for a hug. Tara’s arms open automatically, similarly craving the contact, one hand coming to rest on her back and the other cupping Dawn’s head. The smell of Dawn’s shampoo, the solidity of her body, the warmth of her seeping into Tara’s bones . . . God, how she had missed it. Tears prickle anew and she kisses the top of Dawn’s head reverently, holding her tight.

Tara pulls away, angling Dawn away from her to give her a wet smile. “C’mon, let’s finish getting ready for bed.”

They’d had a lot of sleepovers, that summer. At first, they could never coax Dawn in or out of bed. It often took her until late-afternoon to finally go downstairs, where she burrowed into the couch to stare at nothing until late evening and the process began anew. Tara allowed it for three days until finally she slipped under the covers alongside Dawn and held her as she sobbed until the sun rose, and their stomachs growled. Sleeping wasn’t something she was doing much of herself then, either.

That was the first morning Tara made pancakes.

Things got slightly better after that, but at least two or three times a week, their door would crack open. Squinting against the hallway light, Tara would gently nudge Willow over, and Dawn would settle between them. They were just two lost girls, fighting against the nightmares of gods and girls and sacrifices. In the morning, Willow would be gone, having slipped out quietly, leaving the blankets tucked around them lovingly and the ghost of a kiss cooling on Tara’s cheek as she went to go fight her own demons. Tara’d blink away sleep as sunlight caressed her eyelids open, and look down at Dawn—curled asleep, so small and delicate against the weight of everything that had been taken from her in her short existence.

Dawn beams back at her, looking like the sun, giving Tara’s hand a squeeze before bouncing to her bedroom. Tara continues getting ready, bending to grab a spare toothbrush from under the sink. When she stands, Willow is lingering outside the doorway, hugging the wall as if to make her presence as small as possible.

Tara’s heart gives a squeeze. “Willow,” she breathes.

Willow fingers the trim of the door jamb, gnawing her lip, barely able to look Tara in the eye. The unfairness of it all flares hotly. Here she is, returned to where she is supposed to be, free from wherever she has been, reunited with her family, and yet Tara feels miles away. It reminds her so much of before—those long months apart, between the magics that tore them apart and brought them back together. When every conversation was tentative and unsure, every glance stolen and hesitant.

But this is fearful, wary. Faltering. For both of them.

“Were you . . .” Willow clears her throat, her voice giving out. “Was there pain?” There’s a haunted look in her eyes, but at least she’s looking at Tara this time. The tension in her shoulders relaxes in relief as Tara shakes her head. “Good,” she says, breaking eye contact, returning her gaze to the floor. “That’s good.”

Willow, who always filled the spaces with words, is buried beneath the silence of them now. Tara knows Willow senses that she knows something about what had happened. But Tara, caught between fear and reluctance, is afraid to ask. Afraid to the see the lines form, to see the shape of what Willow had done. As long as she doesn’t know exactly what happened, there is a chance . . . A chance the shapes can stay blurry and distant. She doesn’t want to know the details of Willow’s cruelty. Or her grief.

They are bottled up inside her now. Tara swallows, moves toward Willow, who immediately, but just barely, leans away.

They both flinch.

Tara opens her mouth, looking for words but finding none. Her jaw grinds soundlessly.

Willow only nods, as if she understands, and musters a brighter demeanor. It doesn’t fool either of them. “You should go join Dawn,” she says with a shaky false cheerfulness before disappearing around the corner, “You know how she gets if you keep her waiting.”

“Yeah,” Tara trails off emptily to the hallway.

_________________
Lotus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((55/?-June 12th, 2019))
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:08 pm 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 632
Topics: 2
Location: North Carolina, USA
DIBS :applause You capture the feeling so well. I could feel the heaviness. I think that for Willow and Tara to be able to get back together, Willow has to tell, and Tara needs to listen to what Willow has done. It is not Tara's to forgive, but I think Willow will need to discover that Tara and the other Scoobies still love her despite the horrible things she has done. The act of admitting what you've done is a type of penance. In Catholicism once you do your penance, the sin has been lifted, you are allowed to move on and attempt to not do it again. It is supposed to lighten you. (I personally thought it was a bunch of hooey. Why would I want to tell some random guy about what I had done, especially because I wasn't particularly sorry for anything I was encouraged to confess. That was the first part of Catholicism that I dropped).

You write that Tara does not want to know about the depth of Willow's grief. I think the only way to understand what Willow has gone through is to face the grief. I always imagined that facing her grief was a large part of her experiences in the coven. Discovering the depth of the grief allows for the discovery of the depth of the love. I am not sure that they are inverses, but maybe? Ok, this was a ramble, but I loved the submission and can't wait to read more. Remember to change your title on the first submission so people can see that you updated today. I think a lot of people look at the dates.
Cheers, TW4E alias Sena.

_________________
Atlantic Antics
Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((55/?-June 12th, 2019))
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:24 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 90
Topics: 4
Location: Portland, Or
You're back!!!

Zooey, this was so gorgeous. the moment of remembering the first morning Tara made pancakes, those symbols of warmth and love and caregiving, so lovely. I was struck by how Willow seemed removed even back when Dawn used to crawl into their bed, Tara and Dawn the ones comforting each other, being together, Willow slipping away. It's how they deal, but it also reiterates the chasm that had formed between Willow and Tara during that summer. I am so happy that Dawn was there for Tara then and now, she needs it.
I want to quote every bit of Willow and Tara's interaction. So stark and tense and sad, yet they are, in very small ways reaching back out toward each other even with this: "But this is fearful, wary. Faltering. For both of them." God, have they ever felt that way about each other? Even after the Tabula Rasa spell? And I love that Willow, despite everything else, has to know if Tara was in pain, its important enough to break out of her shell of doubt and fear and grief and ask.

I am bad about doing quotes on this forum so, bear with me, but this "Willow, who always filled the spaces with words, is buried beneath the silence of them now. " what a beautifully simple way to describe who this woman is right now.

The conflict they are both feeling is aching. and Tara is right, it's not fair.

Your beginning is intriguing, now there are TWO witches to protect? With potentials (who haven't been called back yet)? I cannot wait to see where you take this.

And, yes, what is going on with the energy Buffy felt from Tara? Does it come from Isis? I think it maybe has something to do with incoming potentials. hmmmm.

I loved it Zooey, thank you!

-shirrey





__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((55/?-July 5th, 2019))
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:59 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 176
Reading Willow's and Tara's "conversation" (during which Tara didn't manage to utter a single word to Willow) almost physically hurt. So Tara will spend the night with Dawn, but what about Willow? I really hope Buffy will offer and Willow will accept a "sleepover" with her.
I understand that Tara right now feels that she couldn't stand to know what exactly happened after her death. But I think she'll have to face this truth eventually if she wants to revive her relationship with Willow (even if not, staying in Sunnydale with the scoobies who know the truth would make a chosen permanent ignorance on Tara's part hardly possible, at least extremely akward).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((55/?-July 5th, 2019))
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:57 am 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:37 am
Posts: 453
Topics: 5
Location: New York
I just started reading this story and it's so good. Your fic really pulls on the heartstrings. Willow trying to restore her fragmented relationships with her friends as well as come to grips with Tara's return (and possible rejection after divulging what she's done while grieving) was very heart-wrenching to read. Cant wait for the next update.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / How I Met My Lover / Street Fighters / Paid To Get Excited / Pick My Partner / A Special Christmas of Sorts


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((55/?-July 5th, 2019))
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 7:34 pm 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:36 am
Posts: 1169
Topics: 4
Location: somewhere inbetween here and there
@taranwillow4ever:
You're absolutely right that the only way Tara can move forward (and for Tara and Willow to move forward), is for her to come to true grips with everything and work through it. The only way out is through. As you said, Willow's worked her way through the grief that summer with the Coven, and Tara must do the same.
Bringing up the Catholic concept of penance is very interesting, because there's a similar kind of idea in Judaism. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year. It falls ten days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. The ten days inbetween the holiday involves asking forgiveness from those you've sinned against and ask them for forgiveness. We're told to ask three times, and if forgiveness is still not given, then it is up to God to grant. For Jews, there's no intermediary between the parties involved and God.

Thank you for reading and sharing, I so love reading your insights! Oh, and thanks for the reminder to update the forum submission title!

@shirrey:
I'm back! Sorry for the length of time between updates - I've got the chapters written, but have moved cross-country, so life has been a bit disrupted lately :P
Quote:
"I was struck by how Willow seemed removed even back when Dawn used to crawl into their bed, Tara and Dawn the ones comforting each other, being together, Willow slipping away. It's how they deal, but it also reiterates the chasm that had formed between Willow and Tara during that summer."

One of my favorite fics is Tulipp's 'Bread'. She deals with this exact concept exquisitely, and that flashback certainly hearkens back to that time.
Quote:
"despite everything else, has to know if Tara was in pain, its important enough to break out of her shell of doubt and fear and grief and ask."

Yes! This exactly is one of my favorite things about Willow and Tara. We saw Tara step in to defend Willow without hesitation in 'Older and Far away', and this is Willow's moment to do the same for Tara. Nothing else matters for each of them beside each other, not even fear.

Thanks, as always, for reading. I hope the mystery continues to unfold well :)

@Will's redemption:
Ugh, the 'conversation' was painful to write, let me tell you. (You're right, Tara doesn't utter a word, despite feeling her presence through her POV). You're also right in that Tara's definitely going to have to face what happened. It'll happen soon, I promise :)

@mmmh-Hot-Sauce:
Welcome welcome! Thanks for coming and reading! I'm so glad you're enjoying it and that it's wrenching your guts out, that was definitely my goal! Breaking readers' hearts and then putting them back together again is definitely my MO, so I'm always glad to hear when I'm on the right track :D
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


“What are you waiting for?”

Dawn is sitting on the floor at the base of the bed, leaning back while Tara sits cross-legged at the edge. Tara’s hands thread through Dawn’s hair, weaving a lock into the braid. “Hm?”

Dawn’s trying to be patient. She’s not little-kid Dawn, anymore. She’s teenager-adult-understandy Dawn. The one that Buffy talks to like a peer, now. “With Willow.”

Tara’s hands pause mid-braid. “Dawnie,” she says in a tone that’s clearly meant to temper expectations.

“No, not that,” She rolls her eyes. “I mean like . . . why aren’t you in there talking to her?” The fingers on her head resume their movement. “Not that I’m complaining,” she quickly amends. “Soooo not complaining, here, but—” she turns around, all of Tara’s braiding falling loose down her shoulders, “Don’t you want to talk to her?”

Dawn’s not an idiot. She’s seen her fair share of adult relationships these past few years and is familiar with their shifts and shakes; how they grow and die, tear or heal. She’s seen Xander and Anya, Buffy and Spike, Willow and Tara—Tara, who’s here. Here! Alive! Tara who somehow found a way back to them from wherever she was, who was in here braiding hair instead of out there with Willow.

Not that Dawn isn’t cherishing every second of it. It’s more than she ever thought she’d have again. It’s everything she lost on that carpet, everything she’d craved over the summer—Tara’s safe and comforting presence. Tara, who somehow made everything okay, even when the world was upside down and hurting. It’s a miracle. But she knows that as much as Tara loves her, she shouldn’t be in this room right now. She isn’t hurt by that knowledge, just baffled by it. She wants to understand.

And not that she thinks there’ll be a romantic reunion either, of Willow and Tara falling into each other’s arms with tears and kisses, like everything was fixed. She isn’t naive. Well, there has been crying. But not like that. She knows there’s a lot to work through. There is a lot for Tara to know and for Willow to say. Willow is still learning how to exist like it isn’t painful. She hears her cry at night sometimes. She hears the nightmares.

She knows Tara coming back doesn’t mean things are fixed, only that things are better. If there’s anything Tara’s taught her, it is that things take time to fix.

But instead, things between them are broken and, not talking isn’t helping them get fixed any sooner. “You don’t have to try and protect me, I’m not a little kid anymore. I know it isn’t going to be easy, but . . .” she trails off, letting the point linger.

Tara nudges Dawn’s shoulder to have her turn back around and resumes playing with her hair. “You’re right,” she admits, just as Dawn is sure she isn’t going to respond at all. “You’re not a little girl anymore, Dawnie, you haven’t been for a while. There’s a lot for us to talk about and . . . you’re right about it not being easy. Which is why, I think, the rest of tonight should be as easy as we can make it.” Tara finishes the braid, tucking stray ends into the folds, smoothing things to where they’re supposed to be.

“I guess that makes sense. It is really late,” Dawn admits, glancing at the clock.

“And someone has school in the morning.”

“Ohmygod, please tell me you’re joking,” Dawn spins around in mock alarm. “There’s no way you’re actually making me go to school tomorrow.” Tara crosses her arms, and raises an eyebrow, making a very clear “I-am-serious” face. “Oh come on,” Dawn protests, smacking a pillow. “You came back from the dead.

Tara thinks a moment. “Fine. You can miss first period.”

Dawn throws her arms up in disbelief. “First period?!”

Tara’s quirks a half-smile. “Like you said, it is really late. Can’t have you falling asleep in chemistry.”

Pouting, Dawn flops down dramatically. “Chemistry is my first period,” she grumbles.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Are you sure you’re going to be okay with me going to school tomorrow?”

Buffy fluffs a pillow and tosses it on the bed, flopping down next to Willow. Tucked tightly under the covers, Willow’s lying stiff as a board looking up at the ceiling. “I’ll be fine, Buffy.”

“Uh huh. Cause you seem totally fine, lying there staring at the ceiling like a corpse.” Willow turns to her side, propping her head up to glare at Buffy. “What, like I’m wrong?”

Willow pouts furiously. “No, but you don’t have that many days off, and knowing us, they should probably be saved for an apocalypse. Preferably one that isn’t my fault.”

“What, this doesn’t count?”

Willow shakes her head. “No,” she says firmly. “I don’t know what I did, but so far, the world isn’t ending yet.”

“Will, she said she did it.”

“I know. But I don’t have the best grip on this whole magic thing, yet. Remember what happened when I came back to Sunnydale? What if—”

“What if you made this happen just by thinking it?” Buffy finishes for her.

There’s a look of abject misery on her face. Willow nods.

Buffy sighs. “Will, if you could, don’t you think it would’ve already happened months ago?” Willow opens her mouth to argue, but the logic is enough to give her pause. Buffy slides one arm out from under her and reaches across to lay it on Willow’s. She angles her head, signifying seriousness. “We’re gonna figure this out .”

Willow’s chin wobbles and she bites her lip to try and steady it, desperately wanting to believe. “Maybe,” she acknowledges. “But what if you’re right, and she’s the thing from beneath us? The thing that’s supposed to devour us?”

“Listen, Will, I’m the first one to not trust anything that seems like it could be even a remotely threatening possibility. Especially when it comes to this. To you. To Dawn. Not when I’ve just gotten both of you back. I’m itching to fight and ready to take her down if she so much as blinks the wrong way. But you can’t tell me whatever weird thing happened to us outside didn’t make you think twice about it being real.”

“I’m scared,” Willow admits, starting to tear up again.

Buffy thinks about making it back to the house at the beginning of the summer, an equally disheveled and exhausted Dawn at her side. The police tape stretched across the door, barring entry. How they sat, dazed and empty, as Xander pulled up to the house a while later to pick them up, a small figure huddled in the backseat. The aftermath suddenly looming paralyzingly large. “We’ll figure it out,” Xander had said, glancing back toward Willow in the car.

“I know, Will,” Buffy says. “Me too. We’ll figure it out, I promise.”

_________________
Lotus


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((57/?-July 27th, 2019))
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:24 pm 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 632
Topics: 2
Location: North Carolina, USA
Dibs. I liked both conversations. Tara falls right back into the parenting role for a Dawn. I could hear Dawn’s voice so clearly.
I am glad Buffy is comforting Willow and pointing out that if Willow could have brought back Tara by just wishing, it would have happened sooner. The end description of Dawn, Buffy, Xander and Willow was poignant. Thanks for writing, look forward to reading more.

_________________
Atlantic Antics
Meeting Expectations
Learning to Laugh


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((57/?-July 27th, 2019))
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:46 pm 
Offline
3. Flaming O
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 90
Topics: 4
Location: Portland, Or
, Bread (and Terra Firma) is exquisite, I can see the inspiration

This chapter hit me in the feels. I love Dawn because she is so smart, so perceptive and yet has the naivety to ask what might makes others uncomfortable. I have never thought that Dawn was like Anya, but they both have a naive forthrightness although in different ways. Anyway, I appreciate the maturity you show in your Dawn
They are both so scared it breaks my heart. Your Buffy is a wonderful friend to an aching, self-doubting Willow.
You said so much in such a short chapter. It's a gift.

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Last edited by shirrey on Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((57/?-July 27th, 2019))
PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:36 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 176
I'm glad that Dawn asked Tara why she is avoiding Willow. Her "motherly" feelings towards Dawn probably keep Tara from telling her how scared she really is of what she will learn about the past during the necessary talk with Willow.

Quote:
There’s a lot for us to talk about and . . . you’re right about it not being easy. Which is why, I think, the rest of tonight should be as easy as we can make it.”


Fair enough, but don't postpone this conversation any longer than until tomorrow Tara - if you insist Dawn goes to school you should use her and Buffys absence to talk with Willow.

Yay for Buffy spending the night with Willow and being able to comfort her. The few sentences describing Buffys memory of what happened after the end of the episode "Grave" are really powerful, giving her message of hope to Willow ("We'll figure it out") so much more depth knowing it's an echo of what Xander said in this darkest of times.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((57/?-July 27th, 2019))
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:07 am 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:37 am
Posts: 453
Topics: 5
Location: New York
ugh, you got me all up in my feelings with this chapter. Please update soon.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / How I Met My Lover / Street Fighters / Paid To Get Excited / Pick My Partner / A Special Christmas of Sorts


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 279 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

W/T Love 24/7 since July 2000
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group